Speaking Out On Things That Matter

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

So much unrest, so much fear, so much anger—it’s exhausting to see it on television, social media, news feeds. And yet, I must add my voice because I believe Dr. King’s words, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter,” are true.

One way I speak out is through the written word. Here are a few ideas of others that resonate with me: Like the lost sheep story in the Bible, Jesus cared about all the sheep but went after the one that was “hurting.” There are professions in which “some bad apples” is not acceptable. Airline pilots who panic in a storm, gynecologists who are respectful “most of the time,” parents or teachers who are “usually not abusive” all come to mind. 

One of my dad’s favorite statements was, “Don’t judge your fellow Indian until you’ve walked many miles in his moccasins.” This seems to apply on many levels.

Affirmation: I will speak out on things that matter.

Coaching questions: How do you use your voice? What difference does it make?

Celebrating Our Diversity

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Martin Luther King Jr

At a time when the history of slavery is relegated to a few paragraphs in some school textbooks, it behoves us to educate the public on the accomplishments of African Americans throughout the years since slavery. 

The Black History Month 2020 theme, “African Americans and the Vote,” is in honor of the centennial anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment (1920) granting women’s suffrage and the sesquicentennial of the Fifteenth Amendment (1870) giving black men the right to vote.

President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month in 1976, calling upon the public to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”

In my family, the theme is “Blended makes us beautiful!” Honoring our diversity keeps us alert to injustice.

Affirmation: I honor and respect the accomplishments of my black brothers and sisters.

Coaching questions: What does diversity, in all aspects of life, mean to you? This month, I’m celebrating Rosie, an American of Haitian descent, who I helped obtain a college scholarship. Who will you celebrate? 


“What Are You Doing For Others?” MLK

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. Martin Luther King Jr.

I had a difficult time choosing a MLK quote on this day that we celebrate his birth. His words of love not hate, action, justice, and his saying, “What are you doing for others?” are all significant, memorable, and meaningful. Great teachers show up in our world but it seems we learn so little. The hate, injustice, selfishness persists.

We may not have the stature nor the faith-fired strength of Dr. King but we can make a difference. We have a voice. Consider what this one man started. One voice, one person’s action can stir the winds towards positive change. 

Affirmation: I can make a difference.

Coaching questions: What cause or injustice matters to you enough that you will speak up and speak out about it? What’s holding you back? Your voice is significant.